NutriNews Issue 7 2017 - Page 34

Dr.Harvey AndersoN By: Neil Yang 1.What is your favourite food, that is of course nutritious? Essentially it really comes down to food patterns and not individual foods. I don’t eat any one thing. I enjoy everything but most importantly variety in a meal. 2.One of the perks of being a scientist is travelling to different countries for conferences and workshops. If you were to take your team to a conference anywhere in the world, where would you go? China, I think that would have the most “surprise” factor as people still have the impression that it is underdeveloped. In fact, their hospitals look better than some of ours. But where I really would like to take people to is to see the Archipelago Island since I have not been there yet. 3.Every year you teach the course on “Regulation of Food Composition, Health Claims and Safety”. In your final assignment, you give us the task of supporting a health claim. What would be a health claim you stand behind? We’re limited on claims in terms of food function and those claims are important because not only should we focus on glycemic index, but we have to think beyond that into postprandial glycaemia and how diet combinations affect glucose control as well as appetite control. 4.How did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in Nutritional Sciences? I grew up in a farm so initially I studied animal science and did my Masters degree in swine nutrition. Years ago we did not have micronutrients or supplements fed routinely to animals, leading to nutrient deficiency. Now of course with farming, the diets are precisely defined in order to optimize growth, which led to my interest in healthy diets and dietary patterns. 5.What is your favourite part of your job? I do not see it as a job. The reason I am here is because it is the closest thing that I can do to farming. The freedom you have as a professor is priceless. You might not get rich but the richness of the freedom you have is worth millions. I feel very lucky. 6.What is the most memorable moment you have had in your research life? Students succeeding, that is where I get my joy. You have to admit we have had a lot of successful students. I learn more from you guys, than you guys from me. 7.Over the years, your research has touched on every major aspect of human nutrition, from developing an amino acid solution, studying pulses, and now venturing into folic acid and the rest of the vitamin B family. What would you say is your most important and significant discovery that has contributed to the field of nutrition? We were at the forefront with Dr. Jeejeebhoy in developing parenteral nutrition and that just started when I arrived at the University. So I formulated the first amino acid solution for parenteral nutrition. It is still the same solution used today. Now, we’re trying to understand commodities better and their use in the diets as we are starting to understand that chronic diseases are a big problem for the healthcare system. 8.In Canada, we are the only Nutritional Sciences Department to be located within the Faculty of Medicine. How important is this for our department and university? It is important because 70-80% of practitioners deal with adults with chronic disease issues and a big component of that accounts to diet. So physicians have to have a better understanding of that component and know where patients should go for resources. That is why we are expanding the nutrition component of our medical curriculum, which seems to be very popular. 9.Looking back at your career, what has been one of your biggest challenges that have impacted your life and how did you overcome it? I think the biggest challenge was when I was Chair of the Department in the 80’s as well as the Vice Dean of, later becoming Dean. Those days were overloaded with that level of administration and still maintain a strong research program. How did I manage? Well you just have to get more efficient. The secret is to have good support – pick the right people to work with, just like you pick the right students. 10.If you were starting over again, is there anything you would do differently? No, not at all. I was offered a position at Harvard but did not take that. I do not regret that because this has been a great place. Following my curiosity has served me well, so I really would not have changed anything. Issue 3 | Nutrition of Everything | 28